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What’s On…

Highland Archive Service offers a range of activities and events for all ages across our four archive centres and online. Find out what’s on and how you can join in…

October to December 2022

Talk: Lochaber in WWII - the Commandos and the Home Guard

2022 marks the 70th anniversary of the unveiling of the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge. Once again this year Lochaber Archive Centre and West Highland Museum are collaborating to host event showing Lochaber’s remarkable contribution to the story of the Commandos in World War Two.

Join us at 11am on 12th November 2022 to hear talks from Peter Mennie, Highland Archive Service, and Paul MacDonald, West Highland Museum, about the training and development of the Commandos and the Home Guard in Lochaber.

To book please contact West Highland Museum on [email protected] or 01397 702169 

Talk: Community Legends with Dr Margaret Bennett

To mark Scottish Book Week the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre in Portree, welcomes local folklorist and oral historian Dr Margaret Bennett for an afternoon learning about Community Legends. Who are the people who made, and make, your community? Who are the people everyone knows that everyone has a story about? Why should they be remembered?

Singer, storyteller and part-time teacher at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Margaret Bennett is widely regarded as Scotland’s foremost folklorist.

For further information please contact Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre on [email protected] or 01478614078

Exhibition: String / Lines - unravelling the story of string

The string / lines exhibition pulls together artefacts, stories, traditions and new artwork pieces inspired by this wealth of evidence gathered from a wide variety of sources all relating to string. The exhibition is the culmination of the year long project which explored string making for over 50,000 years. 

The project involved collaborations with organisations, artists and archaeologists. The organisations include Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre, ATLAS arts and Viewfield Garden Collective, the artists include, poet Katharine Macfarlane and the archaeologists include Dr. Tuija Kirkinen, Dr. Susanna Harris and Dr. Karen Hardywho specialises in the Palaeolithic period.

For further information please contact Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre on [email protected] or 01478614078

Exhibition: Our Story - closing the queer history gap in the Highlands

This summer, as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories, we invited members of the LGBTQ+ community to their local Archive Centre to share their experiences of living in the Highlands. 

At these gathering sessions across the Highlands, stories were collected, recorded and submitted to the Highland Archive Service, creating the first archives that represent Highland LGBTQ+ voices. 

Following this, a touring exhibition was created by artists Ink Asher Hemp and Maili Fraser, along with members of Eden Court’s Queer Youth Arts Collective. 

Our Story Exhibition Tour Dates:

  • Inverness @ Eden Court – 26th Oct – 6th Nov
  • Portree @ Skye & Lochalsh Archive Centre – 7th – 20th Nov
  • Wick @ Nucleus – 21st Nov – 4th Dec
  • Fort William @ Fort William Library – 5th Dec – 18th Dec

Classes: Archives for Beginners

Discover more about more about the history of the Highlands and learn how original archive material can add to your family history research?  

Two sets of four classes covering the following subjects:

Set 1 – introduction to archives, education records, property records, church records (19th Oct – 9th Nov).

Set 2 – crime records, poor relief records, estate records, family & personal papers (16th Nov-7th Dec).

To book please email [email protected] or call 01349 781130.

Talk: The Caledonian Canal at 200

In October 1822 the Caledonian Canal, one the Highlands most famous landmarks, was officially opened to great fanfare.  12 years overdue, and coming in at double its estimated cost, the waterway’s opening had been long anticipated, having been first contemplated 50 years earlier.

Join us at 2pm for a talk about the history of the Caledonian Canal followed by a display of archives from the canal collection. 

For more information click here

Online Exhibitions

Our online exhibitions are curated by our archive teams from all four archive centres. Using our rich and varied collections, the exhibitions cover an array of topics from The Battle of The Braes to the history of modern education in Scotland. To explore our online exhibitions click on any image below.

Regular Features

Learn With Lorna

Learn With Lorna, our series of short films about the documents in our collections, is broadcast weekly on Facebook with all films subsequently made available on the High Life Highland YouTube channel.  

All the films to date can be found here.